Thursday, June 2, 2011

Caring for Cat After Tornado

If your cat has feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus Cat-FIV or another cat heath concern you must be responsible and take precautions to protect other cats after an environment disaster or Tornado.

My cat Sam has feline immunodeficiency virus  and during normal conditions he lives a happy life in my office.  He is away from the other cats and there is no threat of exposure.  Sam is a Siamese cat who is territorial.  

Generally he does not like other cats and thus I must control his stress level.  If he were to encounter another cat he would not be friendly and this would cause him anxiety and any stress could make a cat with a weakened immune system to become ill.   When a super cell tornado touched down in my city, Sam’s life changed from happy to chaotic.  

We had no warning of the second tornado but knew by the sky, wind and softball hail that we needed to take shelter.  I reacted to this imminent situation by grabbing Sam and putting him his cat crate.  I then put Sam and my two dogs in the bathroom, then we all hunkered down to ride out the tornado.   

Since I live in tornado alley I always make sure the cat crates are ready for their next usage.  I take safety steps by lining the crates with folded newspaper, then attach their food and water bowls to the side of the crate, or add clean ready plastic bowl for food or water.  Also set a crate size litter pan inside. 

All crates need cat identification so it is best to  attach to the top of the crate close to the handle a luggage tag.  This luggage tag is the cat's identification.  Fill it out with your contact information, the cat's name and any special needs and your veterinarians information.

It is helpful to have a spray container of feliway close by.  I like to spray the newspaper before I put a cat into the crate.  The feliway aids in comforting the cat and eases an anxious situation.  It is also helpful to have a twin size blanket to toss over the crate.
After Tornado
My home was left without power for 13 days, and the home sustained serious structural damage.  It also took on wind driven rain that poured down my exterior walls and filled the basement with standing water.  Within a few days the the  black mold started to grow.

My husband and I took safety measures by removing Sam from our home.  Sam went in his crate to our detached garage that is located 48 feet from our home.  We had no way of making the garage cool but we could open the windows and the garage door.  

My husband set up a tent next to the garage and at night we put Sam inside our tent.  Sam was very upset, he was vocal and pacing in his crate, so we let him loose in the tent to cuddle with us and he slept by our feet. 

 In the morning I sprayed the crate with Feliway and Sam back inside the cat crate. The feliway helped Sam to not be anxious.
Our home needed to be dried out and the mold treated.  On May 31st the insurance adjuster inspected our home.  

The following day workers arrived to remove the mold and to dry out the standing water in the basement.  They also set up dehumidifiers to take the moisture out of the home.  When the mold was removed we received a clearance to move  back inside our home.

Commercial dehumidifier

Sam my FIV-cat was anxious so I allowed him to have run of the rest of the house; I thought it was best that he be close to me and my husband.  To help Sam with his anxiety I added rescue remedy to his water.  It took a few days for Sam to adjust, the tornado was frightening for him and he would not leave my side.

If you reside in an area that is known for tornado's then it is best to keep your cat crates ready for easy usage and access.   Be prepared for the threat of a super cell tornado, and protect your healthy and special needs cats from harm.
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